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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

Ill

WAR FINANCE AS IT MIGHT HAVE

BEEN—I

November, 1917

Financial Coixditions in August, 1914—No Scheme prepared to
meet the Possibility of War-—A Short Struggle expected—
The Importance of Finance as a Weapon—Labour's Example
—The Economic Problem of War—The Advantages of Direct
Taxation.—The Government follows the Path of Least
Resistance—The Effect of Currency Inflation,

A LEGEND current in the City says that the Imperial
War Committee, or whatever was the august body
entrusted with the task of thinking out war problems
beforehand, had done Its work with regard to the
Army and Navy, transport and provision, and
everything else that we should want for the war,
and were going on to the question of finance next
week, when the war intez~vened. Whatever may be
the truth of this story, the events of the war confirm
the opinion that if it was not true it ought to have
been. We are continually accused of not having
been ready for the war ; but, in fact, we were quite
ready to do everything that we had promised to do
with regard to military 'and naval operations. Our
Navy was ready in its place in the fighting line, and